It's time for President George W. Bush to give up on Harriet Miers. She is not qualified to be on the U.S. Supreme Court. For chief justice, this...
It’s time for President George W. Bush to give up on Harriet Miers. She is not qualified to be on the U.S. Supreme Court.
For chief justice, this page endorsed John Roberts, who was a federal appellate judge. As a lawyer, he specialized in arguing cases before the Supreme Court. Miers has never been a judge, and has never argued a case before the Supreme Court. She has offered the court three cases — including one questioning the 2000 election results because Bush and Dick Cheney both lived in Texas — but the court didn’t accept any of those cases.
On her list of publications, one of the most recent is, “Steps for a Successful Firm Merger.” Most of her writings were the president’s column in the Texas Bar Journal — such pieces as, “Focusing on the Positive,” “Our Number One Priority” and “Parts of the Whole Working Together.”
We have not studied these essays, but David Brooks of the New York Times reviewed some of them, and not favorably.
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More important, they were not about constitutional law. The mission of the Supreme Court is to enforce the Constitution on the executive and legislative branches of government. A nominee needs to know the words and structure of the document, the history of its writing and ratification, and the major cases and doctrines that have evolved over two centuries.
Miers’ recent reference to “the proportional representation requirement of the Equal Protection Clause” shows that she comes up short.
Miers was apparently chosen under the 100-foot rule: that is, the president saw her every day. That is how Bush chose his vice president, his secretary of state and his attorney general.
Those choices may be defensible, because they are identified with him and will leave when he does. Miers, 60, could stay on a third of the way into the century.
Out of 297 million Americans, the president can do better than this. However, he may have to break the 100-foot rule.